Un|Filtered: The Paradox of Water on the Gulf Coast

Un|Filtered focuses on life-giving water, how it connects and threatens us, and how water on the Gulf Coast represents global crises: flooding, subsidence, stormwater runoff, and water inequality. The exhibition investigates this relationship through a literal and metaphorical lens–using color progression, redaction, data and cinepoems–to uncover not only the statistical realities of this compromised resource but also the unresolvable metaphysical ones.


University of Houston

Practice Area


Associate Professor Cheryl Beckett, University of Houston, Graphic Design Program

The Challenge

This was our first time executing a project of this scale, with minimal experience leading exhibition design. In the beginning of the process, it was a learning curve navigating communication across five teams, while also ensuring a cohesive design direction was instilled throughout each asset.

Project Vision

We want to explore our relationship to water through a means of redaction and editing in a way that informs us of our treatment of water. Un|Filtered capitalizes on the dualities of purified and unrefined, processed and raw by creating a series of layered scrim that reference the function of a filtration system.

An example of how a person can interact with the installation. The scrims are translucent, allowing the viewers to see through each filter.

Colton McKinney

The Mini Posters are aligned with its correspondent scrim and give the reader more insight.

Alexandra Dziedzic

The Mini Posters are printed on vellum allowing the viewer to look through all the pages or read them individually.

Alexandra Dziedzic

This is the view of the Un|Filtered Exhibition from the outside with the logo and window graphics.

Alexandra Dziedzic

Design + Execution

Using the research on water issues facing Gulf Coast ecologies, six teams from the senior graphic design course presented exhibition proposals with the interpretation of data as the goal. The winning proposal Un|filtered, capitalized on the dualities of purified and polluted, drought and flood, by creating a series of hanging layered scrims that referenced the function of a filtration system. Each scrim, designed by the remaining teams, featured quotes and data around a unique aspect of water issues.

Detail shot of the Water Inequality scrim.

This is all the scrims in the exhibition in its digital format.

Proposal and exhibition overview giving viewers a deeper look at the ideation and production process.

Alexandra Dziedzic
Project Details
What drove me to pick this exhibition was how elegant the space was used and how dynamic the topic was. Specific design elements that were chosen really showed through and created an engaging place for the public to understand where water from the Gulf Coast actually comes from.
Juror 1
A very accomplished and realized exhibition, we loved the quality of the environment graphics, the choice of the translucent hanging scrim materials and the juxtaposition of images and text. The subject matter could be understood through the visual language and qualities of the exhibition.
Juror 2
Design Team

Colton McKinney (project leader)
Andréa Barela (creative director)
Braden Turrentine (project manager)
Yoo-Ell Lee (cinematographer, animator)


University of Houston MFA Creative Writing students

Photo Credits

Alexandra Dziedzic (photographer)
Yoo-Ell Lee, Steven Vo, Alexandra Dziedzic, Diego Martinez, Francisco Torres, and Zachary Kozuch (videographers)

Open Date

December 2021